Immigration still driving NSW population growth

Over the last five years, New South Wales has never seen so much of its population leave the state. In 2016 alone, 15,160 people left NSW for other states and territories. However in 2016, New South Wales also had one of the biggest growths in population size than anywhere else in the country.

The three inner-city areas of Sydney, New South Wales that suffered the greatest devastation to their populations were the inner-south west, followed by the eastern suburbs, the inner-south west and Parramatta. Over 29,000 people left from suburbs within the inner south-west such as Bankstown, Canterbury and Hurstville, with the majority left for the outer south-west largely due to housing affordability. In the eastern suburbs, 18,000 people left during this same time frame. A total of 18,100 Sydney-siders left to regional NSW and other states during the year, suffering the greatest loss of people than any other state. Though, Western Australia also struggled with a loss of 14,000 people from their population to other states.

Despite Parramatta suffering a great loss of people from the area, the suburb had the greatest increase in population as a result of overseas migration in 2016 at a net increase of 13,400 people. The inner south west of Sydney also saw a net increase of 13,315 people who were overseas immigrants. Sydney, altogether, saw an increase in population of a total of 84,700 people who were overseas immigrants.

On average, according to the 2016 annual summary of migration in Australia by the Bureau, there were a total of 377,000 people who moved interstate, 276,000 who moved overseas and 539,000 who arrived as immigrants. 84,700 of total immigrants in 2016 were overseas immigrants. Most of these immigrants hold temporary visas, with students being the largest number of individuals within that category. In 2016, a total of 100,000 international students arrived in Australia. Individuals on temporary skilled working visas made up 32,000 of immigrants, and individuals on holiday visas made up 50,000. Less than 1/5th of all immigrants were permanent migrants.

Migrating individuals from overseas was largely the reason for the swell in the New South Wales population in 2016, with the arrival of a total of 104,500 immigrants. The number of arrived immigrants for New South Wales was followed closely by Victoria, with a total of 90,000 immigrants arriving in the state.

Numbers of immigrants arriving in Australia are likely to drop in 2018 as the effect of what the Turnbull government describe as being a stricter “recruiting exercise”. On multiple occasions, Labor have accused temporary migrants of “stealing” jobs from Australians and have indicated that as a result of this, the number of immigrants allowed into the country could be reduced. These expressions from Labor have not been met with approval by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who have accused Labor of reforming the current immigration policy in exchange for votes from Australian citizens as the “Super Saturday” byelections draw near.

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